About this time last year, it was starting to seem like the flood of rock and roll deaths in 2012 was simply never going to end. After all, stretching roughly from the untimely death of Whitney Houston in February to the end of July, the pop/rock music world lost at least a dozen giants from within its ranks. Thankfully, there had been a bit of a lull in that department in the months since - until somewhat recently, when the fates seem to be attempting a catch-up. Even just this week, in fact, music fans have had to deal with the loss of folk legend Richie Havens and Divinyls frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett. Perhaps deeper under the radar but no less significant was the passing April 15 of Scott Miller, the creative and unsung mastermind of influential American college rock band Game Theory.
As is the case with a bevy of fantastic '80s music finds waiting to be discovered, I'd like to be able to say the genius of Scott Miller has long been wildly apparent to me as a semi-professional musicologist. But I'd be lying with abandon if I claimed to have had anything but a passing appreciation up until now for the Paisley Underground-tinged, cerebral power pop of Game Theory. It's unfortunate that premature death serves as such a reliable catalyst for the re-evaluation of an artist's life's work, but this sudden loss will certainly serve as an opportunity for me to catch up on what I've been missing, that's for certain. "Crash Into June," a standout track from the band's 1986 LP Big Shot Chronicles, is nothing short of three-minute pop perfection, filled with unique melodic turns and a positively infectious synth/organ hook during its driving bridge. Visiting Miller's official website this week has certainly delivered its share of devastating revelations, as the sad news of this fine artist's death was accompanied by the bittersweet disclosure that Miller was in the process of working up a new Game Theory album. The welcome availability of the band's out-of-print catalogue in MP3 format on that same website may be small solace, but it is a generous and appreciated one.
- Listen to "Crash Into June" in its entirety here.
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- Official Scott Miller Website
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Enigma